Ansible - Contributor Summit 03/2021
The Ansible Contributor Summit is a full day of working sessions with the Ansible community team and contributors in the community. I was able to attend the conference today. I just left it some minutes ago and wanted to share my experience and some content from the conference.
What is the summit?
The Ansible contributor summit is meant as a gathering of contributors or anybody interested in the Ansible development. It is planned as a day full of sessions. You can hear from actual contributors how they see the Ansible development, and you are able to ask questions.
Agenda & Talks
The agenda was packed with cool talks and presentations. It was so much, I am not able to address all of them, but I want to give you an overview what the summit was about and what you might expect. The full agenda can be found in the link below.
@cybette, @gundalow and @ompragash gave an introduction and welcomed everybody. We already got an idea how the community team currently looks like and discussed how the community currently communicates over at Reddit, Twitter, the Ansible Blog or IRC.
One year of Ansible
The next major topic was the overview of the recent changes in Ansible. I have addressed this topic slightly in the Ansible - Release 3.0.0 article, but @gwmngilfen and @dmsimard explained this is in much more details and also gave an update how it currently looks like.
The review of "one year collections" was quite interesting. Greg explained a lot how contributions have shifted to collections and pull requests are finally shifting, too. He is also having a blog, where you can really dig into details with him.
More statistics and statistic related content are available and the presentation is already online.
Road to 3.0.0+
David gave us an overview of 7(!) years of Ansible in only some minutes. With the start set in 2014 and the first announcement of collections in 2019, this was quite a compressed journey. Of course, it ended in an explanation how Ansible 2.10, 3.0.0, Ansible Core and more are related to each other.
He explained the roadmap very well with a lot of pictures, like the one above. You can already have a look at the presentation, if you want.
This was a very nice technical topic for me. Nikhil (njain) explained Ansible Builder and Runner very thoroughly and this is a thing I really need to address in another blog article. The demonstration was quite nice, though.
You can also find the documentation about Ansible Builder here to dig into the topic on your own. In December, the Ansible blog already introduced us to Ansible Builder, too.
Another talk was about the network collections, hold by Brad and Ganesh. He was reviewing the roadmap and talking about priorities and improvements. He also addressed how these collections are currently changing and new plugins / filters and much more. For everybody interested, there are also a lot of articles, addressing the network collections.
Digging into Ansible Network automation is another topic, I really need to address in this blog. ;)
Ansible is available for a wide variety of Linux distributions. You can use pip/PyPi to install Ansible, but it is much more convenient to use a package manager. For Ubuntu, there is a PPA (personal package archive) available here. Deric is one of the maintainer for this PPA and introduced us to the work he is doing.
He is also seeking for support and contributions. So, please feel free to reach out to him via GitHub or IRC (freenode, dericcrago) in case you want to help or just ask some questions.
Sandra introduced the Ansible documentation split into Ansible Core (the engine) and Ansible Package (including some collections).
There is also an agenda for the documentation working group.
Later, there was another talk / discussion about the documentation of collections and roles. Some community members suggested handling docs like Docker, Ruby gems or PyPi packages do, where the documentation lives next to the code and there is no dedicated page to gather the documentation.
Community Galaxy update
Matt and Andrew were giving a review and update on the changes for Ansible Galaxy regarding the development of collections, Ansible GalaxyNG / Automation Hub and how the community accepts these changes.
The bottom line is: Ansible roles are still supported and will be supported for the foreseeable future. Collections are the future, but roles are important, too.
Future / Unanswered questions
Lastly, Toshio provided a lot of background knowledge about new collections since 2.10 and gave a forecast to 4.0.0. He also started some discussion about testing and lots of people provided knowledge, ideas and insights of their work.
During the talks some things were mentioned, that are not necessarily related to a talk.
There is a Katacoda scenario for contributing to Ansible collections.
For Ansible Development it may be useful to have a RHEL image at hand, which was also addressed and commented. You can get a free RHEL subscription (up to 16 installations) for development or production.
Yes, @geerlingguy was there, too. He also got some honorable mentions for his roles and contributions. In case you don't know him, he is the author of "Ansible for Devops" and this content.
I am really happy, that I took my time. I was able to actually talk to the development team and mention some issues that I currently have with Ansible. On the other hand, I also heard opinions, issues and feedback from other users and developer, which is very useful for me.
The Ansible community team will also ensure to upload everything to YouTube and publish the presentations, soon.
To wrap it up: "Why don't we have this kind of events more often? At least every major release, would be my recommendation."